Apparently Naomi Campbell finds this Cadbury ad racist…. shouldn’t it just make you want a bite of creamy yummy chocolate? I want to be compared to some delicious goodness too…
Naomi contends that ad offensively likens her to chocolate: “It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humour in this. It is insulting and hurtful.” Cadbury maintains that the ad was meant to be “a light-hearted take on the social pretensions of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss,” but has since pulled it.
Meanwhile, Campbell continues to pursue “every option available” to her, including a possible lawsuit — and maybe a fist fight…
Seriously Naomi? What about this?
Taken by LaChapelle back in December 1999 for Playboy… or iss this completely different as to being linked to chocolate?!
Reasonable minds certainly differ on this, but to me, the ad isn’t likening Naomi to “chocolate.” It’s saying that both Naomi and Cadbury Bliss are pampered divas. An analogous ad might be one with a picture of an old school plastic Sony Walkman with the strap line “Even Jackie couldn’t chop this in half.” Is that subtly racist? I don’t think so, but then again I’m probably not as primed to see anti-black or anti-Asian (for example) sentiment in media as someone who is black or of Asian descent, respectively. But give me a Mel Gibson movie, and I’d be delighted to point out the anti-Semitism.
True, Cadbury could have picked a white first-name-only diva for the ad, like Madonna or Celine or even Posh, but none of these epic narcissists come anywhere close to having Naomi’s reputation as a fit-throwing hellcat. That’s how the public knows that the diva Naomi referred to in the ad is Campbell and not Judd, Watts, or Naomi from Lost. Bitch is banned from British Airways for life, for chrissakes. But point taken that there is something unsavory about picking a black woman to name in an ad for chocolate.
Others around the web see the Naomi ad as patently offensive and cite Cadbury’s #fail track recordfor putting out ads that many consider racist and stereotypical. In one case, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority launched a formal investigation into a particular Cadbury ad, which it found employed “harmful stereotypes” and offensive imagery. Yeah. NOT GREAT.
Given Cadbury’s troubling ad history, maybe the Naomi ad is not as innocent as it may first appear. In that case, Cadbury needs to do more than pull the ad, bat its eyes, and proclaim that it “would never produce any marketing activity we felt might cause offense to any section of society.” It needs to apologize to the public and also to Naomi, who has worked tirelessly to promote inclusiveness in the fashion word and beyond. She certainly doesn’t need some antiquated candy company belittling her by calling her “chocolate.”
So dumb. I actually ended up writing a lot more about this but I don’t want some stupid racist debate on this topic. It’s an ad that’s all in good fun, if I were her and wanted to start a fight she should’ve been upset that they were making fun of her for being, and obviously, a diva. At least they didn’t say something about throwing her cell phone on assistants… like “Bitchier than Naomi” har har har. Diva is just a nicer way of saying it – way to take something totally out of context. Just be a glamourous bitch diva and own it dahhhling. BESIDES… she does have chocolatey deliciously beautiful skin :] Nothing wrong with that comparison, it’s a luscious description.